Child Support: What About My Newer Children?

A Canadian colleague draws attention to the Canadian legal rule regarding child support: “first families first”.

Which simply means that preexisting children that are the subject of a child support order take precedence in the eyes of the law over later children with a different other parent.

Doesn’t the law care about newer children too?

Actually, like Canada, generally speaking, the family courts in the US have, in effect, not cared. This includes Florida family court, New York family court and New Jersey family court.

More particularly, the courts have adopted the view that the parent obligated to pay child support has made a deliberate choice to have additional children and incur new child support obligations despite their existing child support obligations.

Therefore, they should not be able to cite those subsequent children as a defense or excuse to reduce their preexisting child support obligations.

But family courts in the US are very slowly beginning to relax the rigidity of this child support legal rule in some states, to some degree, under certain circumstances. Including Florida, New York and New Jersey.

It is still an uphill battle. But there may be a chance, with the right set of facts.

Read more in this [Canadian] Financial Post article: When it comes to support payments, ‘first families first’ is the general rule